37 : UTC Startups - Series I

All vertical market segments are affected by digital innovations and by trends seen at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), undoubtedly the greatest hi-tech event in the world, which 3 UTC start-ups chose to attend.

37 : UTC Startups - Series I

A connected medical device to help calm back-aches

Chronic back-aches represent an ailment for 8 out of 10 French people, and are often seen as the “scourge of the century”. In most cases, the cause lies in bad posture in the office and a far too sedentary way of life. To remedy this situation, Antony Rouhban – who was recruited at UTC in the continuous education engineering programme (major Bio-engineering) and Nicolás Latorre (from the University Favoloro, Buenos Aires, Argentina – doing his double degree at UTC, have developed a portable connected technology which warns you if you adopt a bad posture. 

"Our objective is to design a medical device to prevent, treat and monitor posture-related problems and issues. The device requires use by a health sector professional (a medical practitioner, a kine-therapist, etc.

This particular project goes back to 2014 when Antony Rouhban and Nicolás Latorre registered for an “innovation competition” organized by the French Association for Bio-medical engineers (AFIB): "Nicolás had an excellent grounding in electronics and he added skills in project management, marketing and regulations. We then decided to present a project at the AFIP competition, with Didier Gamet (UTC-BMBI Lab) accepting that our presentation count as a TX (CC) credit course.

Antony and Nicolás came First ex-aequo in the competition results and were also ranked among the 20 first projects selected for the Pépite Prize, springboard for student entrepreneurship. Their project also received a pre-certification by the UTC-Innovation Centre during the Sept. 201 assessment session for innovative projects. “Pre-certification, hopefully followed by full certification this coming year, enabled us to raise some funding but more than that to acquire a necessary qualification to allow other UTC students to work with us on the project”, adds Antony.

The UTC- Daniel Thomas Innovation Centre provided a perfect setting for these two young entrepreneurs so they could continue to develop their project. “We used to the full the resources made available by UTC and the Innovation Centre”, Antony confirmed. Over a one year period “we worked with close on 50 UTC students in a varied set of skills, from project management, economic intelligence, design, enterprise creation … We notably ‘hired’ several students in the MPI major, which allowed us to have a precise monitoring of the various stages and this help was much appreciated insamuch as I was very busy in a placement during the previous semester. We made good use too of the Fab’Lab and the ‘motion capture room’ and equipment installed at the Innovation Centre.

Moreover, Antony and Nicolás do not intend to leave the Innovation Centre now that they have their engineering diplomas. As Antony details “I can work full-time now on the project and we shall have assigned office space at the Innovation Centre. And, with the UTC-BMBI (bio-mechanics and bi-engineering Lab, we shall integrate a project maturation programme accompanied and funded by the SATT Lutech (technology transfer incubator).”